In our regular weekly feature, we'll be taking a look at the winners and losers of the week in the struggle for the rights of working families. The winners will be the persons or organizations that go above and beyond to expand or protect the rights of working families, while the losers will be whoever went above and beyond to limit or deny those rights.
In January 2012, some 285 Brooklyn Cablevision workers voted to join the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and have since been in negotiations for a fair contract, with little success. In April, two National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional directors issued complaints against Brooklyn Cablevision for failure to bargain in good faith and for illegally firing 22 workers.
Now the cable giant has filed a suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit claiming the court’s recent ruling that President Barack Obama's recess appointments of three members to the NLRB are invalid should reach even deeper into the NLRB and invalidate decisions by the board’s regional offices. (The D.C. Circuit ruling is being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.)
All but one of the 22 workers at Brooklyn Cablevision, who the Communications Workers of America (CWA) says were illegally fired in January, are now back on the job, according to Erin Mahoney, organizing coordinator for CWA District 1.
Through emails, Facebook likes, petitions, rallies and other means, more than 100,000 people showed their support for the workers who have been attempting to negotiate a contract with Cablevision for more than a year. The workers vow they will continue to demand a fair contract.
The Communications Workers of America (CWA) reported that today, 23 Brooklyn Cablevision workers were illegally fired after attempting to discuss the lack of good-faith bargaining by the company with their management and expressing support for their bargaining committee—protected activities by federal law. The CWA, which the workers voted to join a year ago, condemned the firings as an illegal and outrageous attack on the company’s hardworking employees. Last week, CWA had filed unfair labor practice charges, alleging bad-faith bargaining by Cablevision-Optimum.
Yesterday, 282 Cablevision technicians and dispatchers in Brooklyn voted to join the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1109 in a union election administered by the National Labor Relations Board, overcoming a vigorous anti-union campaign led by Cablevision. They are the first Cablevision workers to join a union. Cable TV is an overwhelmingly nonunion industry while the traditional telecommunications industry remains highly unionized.
Teresa Casertano in the AFL-CIO Organizing Department sends us this report.
Next week, 285 Brooklyn employees of Cablevision Systems Corp. will vote on whether to join the Communications Workers of America (CWA). Faced with low salaries and inadequate protections on the job, Cablevision installers in Brooklyn decided to join together to seek changes at work. The cable installers, who complete eight installations per day, carrying heavy ladders and climbing poles, earn a third less than their unionized counterparts. In contrast, Cablevision CEO James Dolan received $13 million last year. Dolan is also the executive chairman of the Madison Square Garden Corp., where he received another $2 million in compensation.